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Summer solstice: How to celebrate even if you're stuck indoors

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(Read caption) Summer solstice is a glorious day. But if you're stuck inside an air-conditioned office, here's how to still enjoy a taste of summer.

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Summer solstice has arrived. And wouldn't you know it: this year, the first day of summer lands on a Monday.

Even if you're penned in your office all day, here are several ways the Web can help you soak up a bit of summer.

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Step one: Visit Google.com

The search engine's classic Google Doodles put on their summer finest today. In fact, Google designed not one but four special banners. Click on the summer scenes to see them all. Today marks the company's return to flip-book style doodles. The first honored Hans Christian Andersen's 'Thumbelina.'

But Google's digital summer solstice fest seems to be a US-only event. Canada's Google homepage looks as if it's just any other day on the Web. Same with most countries south of the equator. (Of course, today is not the summer solstice down south. For them, it's the first day of winter.)

In France and Gemany today, Google celebrates Nobel-Prize-winning author and existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Plus, if Google isn't your thing, Yahoo toasted the season with its own banner: a darling slip-and-slide animation. And don't forget about the secret Easter Egg hidden in Yahoo's logo.

Step two: Read up!

Now that summer has arrived, plot your escape from the office. Check out the video below for ideas on how to ring in the summer. Or, if that's too obvious for your tattling coworkers, consider some timely articles on fun in the sun.

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- Learn why the solstice arrives today, and why the longest day of the year often isn't the hottest.

- Have you checked out infrared grills? These backyard cookers use ultra-hot heat, sometimes well above 1,000 degrees F., to roast meat without drying it out.

- Ever try grilling fruit? It's one way to spice up strawberries, nectarines, and mangoes?

To further obscure your idle reading from nosy onlookers, consider trying Readability. This one-click online clutter killer strips out the ads and flashy filler that can alert office neighbors that you're not working. Readability temporarily reformats Web pages, leaving only the main body of text and any mingling images. The app even swaps in a new, easy-to-read font.

Your coworkers will never know that you're slacking off.

Have more ideas on how to enjoy the summer solstice while stuck indoors? Share them in the comments.


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